Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This poem is inspired by stories that my mother told me, or by things I observed, about her life. My mother's life was a series of could-be failures that she turned in to opportunities over and over again. As for the poem's form, I played with the constraints of six word memoirs and I chose to make the poem twenty lines long. Let me know what you think.

Peddled Ice Cream on the boardwalk

Four in a one bedroom on Ocean Parkway

When he drank, she ran away

She was the son he never had

Disrespected her mother for staying with him

After high school, sailed to Europe

Brought back a love of primary colors

Bought a Stingray, drove to Miami

Was a go-go dancer in Lake George

Fell in love with a musician

Made him quit drugs, then married him

Moved to Brooklyn, had a daughter

Traded in Corvette for a Beetle

Moved to suburbs, there were snakes

Brooklyn girls don't like snakes

Built a house called "Dreamland"

Either he left or she kicked him out

The first wave of divorced parents

Clan of single mothers reclaiming their lives

They roller skated in shimmery tights

still image: W. Michelle Harris

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